A mix of personal reflections and cultural commentary about family in A mix of personal reflections and cultural commentary about family in America

I Didn't Grow Up Until I Became a MomI thought I was a mature adult, and then I had a baby
I Didn't Grow Up Until I Became a Mom
Image: Flickr

I should begin with two caveats: One, I'm not all grown up yet. Maybe I never will be. Two, many of my peers who aren't parents are just as grown up as I am. But for me, having kids is what it took for me to begin to grow up, and as Mother's Day approaches, I'm considering all the ...

Stopping to Notice a Day of GraceI have plenty of grumpy and just fine days. But every once in a while, a really good one comes along...
Stopping to Notice a Day of Grace
Image: Phil Dutton

Do you ever have a day that captures the simple goodness within your life? For me, it doesn't happen often. I have lots of grumpy days--when the kids are whining and I'm tired and there's a voice in the back of my head telling me to pay more attention to the good things but instead I ...

Why You Should Tell Your Family's StoryWhat memoir-writing has to do with Christian faith
Why You Should Tell Your Family's Story
Image: Pedro Riberio Simoes/Flickr

I started teaching a memoir class in our local library last week. I've never done a class like this before, and the local program coordinator said she hoped for about twenty people from our town of 3,000. Forty-five people showed up, from age ten to eighty-five.

Apparently there are a lot of ...

Parenting a Child Who Is Profoundly OtherA mother reflects on the humanity she shares with her daughter with significant disabilities
Parenting a Child Who Is Profoundly Other

"Good morning, sweetie peetie," I greet Temma each morning, my own eyes still half-shut when I paddle into her room. Her eyes are most often open as if she has been waiting for me. She startles a bit at the sound of my voice, her arms and feet lifting up and her eyes becoming even more ...

What Easter Has to Do with My Everyday LifeWhy am I surprised that God is willing to enter into the smallest problems, concerns, and details?
What Easter Has to Do with My Everyday Life
Image: Neal Fowler/Flickr

It was a long week.

Penny, my eight-year old daughter, was on spring break. William (5) and Marilee (3) were not. My husband Peter was out of town. So I decided to pull William and Marilee from school and go to the Connecticut shore, where we have a family beach house. We got there Monday afternoon. ...

In Defense of Helicopter ParentingI wouldn't go back to an earlier era of parenting even if I could.
In Defense of Helicopter Parenting
Image: stephanski Flickr

I think of myself as a rather laissez faire parent. I believe in germs and dirt. My kids, including my three-year old, go outside and play without my immediate supervision. When they fall down, I wait to make sure they are really truly hurt before I comfort them (like when Marilee, the three-year ...

Disney's Frozen: Not About Letting It Go After AllIt's about a princess who refuses to let go, out of love.
Disney's Frozen: Not About Letting It Go After All

Peter and I took Penny and William, our two older kids, to see Frozen in the theater in January. I was nearly as excited as the children. I had read the endless praise, including the writer who called it the best Disney movie since The Lion King (which I saw four times in the theater back in 1994). ...

Kids Glued to Smart Phones? Wonder Where They Learned That...Parents need consider our own screen time before we worry about our kids'
Kids Glued to Smart Phones? Wonder Where They Learned That...
Image: Sisters-Screen Time by JeremyOK

I left our pediatrician's office feeling somewhat self-satisfied. The doctor had asked for a report on my three-year old daughter Marilee's use of iPads, iPhones, and television. She came in under the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations for hours of screen time given her age. He ...

Want Some Rules for Spending Money?I'm glad the dos and don'ts don't work after all
Want Some Rules for Spending Money?

A few years back, I was talking with a Christian friend about what spiritual principles we should invoke when we think about spending money. "I just wish there was a formula," she said. "I wish I had some dos and don'ts every time I walked into Target."

Early on in my adult ...

Holy DespondencyWhat my season of loneliness taught me about my identity in Christ
Holy Despondency
Image: flickr

A year ago, about six months after our move to Connecticut, loneliness pressed down on my torso as if I had donned a vest padded with weights. It came as a result of a series of conversations in which every person I talked to referred to me as a wife or a mother. I am both a wife and a mother, but ...

Introducing Thin PlacesWhat to expect from this blog in the weeks and months to come...
Introducing Thin Places

In addition to the video chat about this blog with Katelyn Beaty yesterday (and for those of you who might be like me and prefer reading words to watching conversations), I thought I'd offer a few thoughts on what to expect from this blog going forward.

The title of this blog, "Thin Places," ...

Welcome Amy Julia Becker, CT's Newest BloggerThe author of three books and longtime Her.meneutics contributor talks about her hopes for the site.
Welcome Amy Julia Becker, CT's Newest Blogger

In early 2010, Amy Julia Becker was a wife and mother of two, an MDiv student at Princeton Theological Seminary, and the author of an unpublished book about raising a child with Down syndrome. The book had been rejected by 48 publishers. "I put the project away, focused on finishing my last ...

I Don't Love Valentine's Day, and That's OkayThree kids plus a not-so-crafty Mom plus 50 classmates equals a lot of work, and a little lesson about love.
I Don't Love Valentine's Day, and That's Okay

Last week I received two memos about Valentine's Day. One from William's teacher (in his class of 17 students) in which she requested that we send in our valentines--one for each student in the class--on Monday (today) so that they could appreciate them throughout the week. And one from Penny's ...

7 Thoughts on How to Survive Another Snow Day (and maybe even enjoy it)
7 Thoughts on How to Survive Another Snow Day

1. If even a hint of snow is expected, turn off the ringer on your phone the night before. You do not need to know at 5:02 a.m. that your children will be home all day. You need to keep sleeping. They need to keep sleeping.

2. When you wake up and discover that although it is not yet snowing there ...

Did I Come Home in a Box?Happy Birthday Marilee, and thank you for the reminder that life is a gift.
Did I Come Home in a Box?

It is Marilee's third birthday today. We will celebrate with pink cupcakes and make-your-own-pizza night and gifts and singing.

A few weeks ago, we were telling her about the day she was born. It was in the midst of a very snowy winter, and we drove home in the midst of an ice storm with two ...

Peeking Into the WombMy new post for her.meneutics about the purpose of ultrasounds in the modern age.

When I was 20 weeks pregnant with our first child, I chatted with a friend about our upcoming ultrasound. "We find out whether we're having a boy or a girl tomorrow," I said.

She nodded with a slight smile, and responded, "And you find out if your baby is healthy tomorrow. I ...

What's Your Favorite Spiritual Memoir? (and other reading notes)

Some book and article notes in a sec, but first: What's your favorite spiritual memoir? I'm looking for a good one. I've enjoyed Mary Karr, Anne Lamott, Martha Beck, and Kate Braestrup, to give you a sense of what I like. Any other favorites out there?

On the bedside table: I abandoned The Sun Also Rises ...

I Want to Be a Lover, But I Also Want the Special Seat...What kind of hypocrite am I to go from prayer to yelling at my children in approximately ninety seconds?

Getting into the car this morning looked something like this:

"Mom! William won't let me sit in the special seat!" Penny yells, eyes wide with shock at the injustice of it all. Penny sat in the special seat yesterday. She knows it is William's turn.

William runs past her, and his elbow just might have ...

What I'm Tweeting

No new books for me this week, but here are the articles I tweeted this week that you might enjoy:


"If This #Sochi Ad Doesn't Make You Tear Up, Then Check Your Pulse" #parenting #success

MTV's ‘16 and Pregnant' helping to reduce #TeenPreganancies? #pregnancy #TeenMom @AnnieLowrey @nytimes ...

Why We Need Paternity LeaveHaving Dad take time off makes for a more balanced family life

This morning, I left the house early to work out. My husband Peter arose with the kids—Penny, age 8, William, 5, and Marilee, almost 3. I returned to find them in various forms of protest, insisting I make their breakfast even though their dad is equally capable of slicing banana bread and strawberries. ...

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